I'm in the middle of Christmas decorating at the moment and have decorations everywhere. Some of you know that I REALLY decorate my house, with every room full of decorations (17, 90 litre tubs worth of decorations not counting the tree), so before it's all done the house is a maze of little walkways with decorations, tubs and protective wrapping covering the floor. I'm at the stage where it's maximum mess because I'm trying to empty the tubs so Graeme can return them to the shed. He prefers to make just the one trip so he waits for all 17 tubs to be empty or filled, with non-Christmas items removed, to make room for the decorations. The dining room has ten tubs stacked up against the sideboard, there are five tubs in the living room and one still in the sewing room along with one empty tub that broke along the side and needs replacing. So all in all the house is in utter chaos.
The ferrets hadn't been let out to roam around the house for a while because of the head cold I'd been suffering - ferrets and head colds are not the best mix; you need to be totally alert to deal with ferrets. I just put them outside each day in their luxury cage under the apricot tree with promises of a run when I felt better. I need to be at peak fitness and health to deal with two ferrets on the run around the house. I felt better yesterday so I gritted my teeth, said a little prayer that the decorations would survive and I'd find two ferrets at the end of play time, and let them have a roam around the living room, dining room and kitchen. It only lasted a few minutes sadly. I think they sniffed too much tinsel or glitter or something because they got over excited almost immediately.
An over excited ferret is not a pretty sight. They come out dancing sideways with mouths open wide and all their little sharp teeth on view. They challenge all comers and even go looking for someone to challenge. The sight of a ferret in full battle mode with a bit of gold tinsel draped over his little face is a sight to see. I'm sure Loki thought the tinsel just added to his tough guy image as he made little lunges at me, daring me to try and catch him. I was trying to decorate around them while they were investigating the new and improved rooms. You'd think this would be easy, after all they are just two tiny little ferrets and both white and easily seen so I could avoid them. The problem with over excited ferrets is they move everywhere at top speed so seem to be everywhere at once. I wasn't interested in participating in ferret games, but it proved easier to pick up the gauntlet and battle a little ferret for a few seconds so I could have some peace once he or she had won and gone looking for worthier opponents. Once they'd defeated me battle, they went in search of cats or large decorations needing to be toppled. Instead of being left in peace to keep decorating, I tripped over ferrets, dodged ferret teeth and ferret war dances, wrestled with ferrets for decorations I think they intended to stash behind the lounge or wall unit and rescued cats, who usually cope well with ferrets who aren't over excited, but find these frenzied ferrets another matter altogether.
The cats protested loudly and threatened to pack up their food dishes, beds and toys and seek asylum in the machinery shed where Tristan reported that mouse hunting was so much more fun that losing fights with ferrets. It was time to gather up the ferrets and take them outside.
Trying to gather up two ferrets high on tinsel is fraught with problems. Even though I said they seemed to be everywhere at once they have a sixth sense when it comes to being put outside. Suddenly there were no ferrets to be seen. An occasional pile of decorations would wobble, or tinsel mounds would rustle but that was the only indication that a ferret was in the house. They'd make guerrilla style attacks on my ankles, or at a passing cat then dash back under cover of the tinsel and await their next opportunity.
I managed to snatch Loki during one of these attack forays and he immediately changed from attack ferret to loving ferret who showered me with ferret kisses and tried to convince me it was another big white ferret who declared war on the household. It seems a tinsel heigh quickly wears off. Pandora seemed to know she couldn't cover all the territory alone and came out with her paws up. She too reverted to loving ferret as soon as I picked her up and both calmly accompanied me to the back door. There was an incident when they spied a washing basket full of tinsel near the back door on top of their inside cage. Their whiskers twitched and they both leaned over my arms looking longingly at the tinsel. I gave in and let them bounce through the tinsel for a little while, making sure they didn't escape the basket. The cats were just starting to calm down in the ferret free living room and I was keen to keep it that way. The ferrets lacked victims in the basket and I refused their request to add a cat so they settled for mock wars with each other. Thankfully no matter how excited they get Loki and Pandora never fight with each other. They scuffled about for a while, disappearing under the tinsel and resurfacing with their mouths open and tinsel draped over their faces but no real bites or insults were exchanged. It was two ferrets in seventh heaven.
After a short while watching these antics and grabbing escaping ferrets to return them to the basket, I picked them up and carried them outside where they spent their day in their cage dreaming of Christmas decorations and what they will now refer to as The Great Christmas War of 2015 for the rest of their lives.